2019 Usdan Family Guide


Dear Usdan Families,

This Summer 2019, we gather once again to explore the arts and ourselves on Usdan’s beautiful woodland campus. We are embracing the idea that our Usdan community can reflect the way that we want the world to be: that all voices are valued; that diversity makes us stronger; and that caring for our environment is all of our duty. Each member of our community makes us stronger, and we are so grateful you have chosen to share some of your summer with us.

This is the 2019 Usdan Family Guide. We encourage you to take a few minutes to read it through—even if your child has previously attended Usdan—as some of the processes and programs may have changed slightly from last year. Here at Usdan, we value each child’s perspective and personality and strive to create unique and spectacular experiences for all. On behalf of all Usdan faculty and staff, I look forward to seeing and creating with you soon.


Lauren Brandt Schloss, Executive Director


At Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts, we believe that a vital part of the creative process is cultivating openness to new ideas and different perspectives. We believe that art making is future making. Usdan is committed to building a thriving and diverse community for all, and we welcome and affirm social inclusiveness in all forms. We proactively seek to support all students, families, and staff, and we strive to create an environment that encourages all to share their unique gifts as a way to foster understanding, collaboration, and friendship in season and throughout the year.



Thursday, June 27, 2019
4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Important note: Please plan to arrive on Usdan’s campus between 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Wear comfortable shoes, and be aware that Usdan’s campus is hilly and difficult to traverse for those who cannot walk long distances or steep inclines. Those who park on campus will be required to walk a short distance from the lot. Long Island Rail Road trains leave Penn Station at 3:14, 3:55, 4:24, 4:32, 4:51, 4:54, and 5:22 p.m. on June 27 and arrive in Wyandanch Station approximately one hour later. Trains from Wyandanch to Penn Station leave at 5:06, 6:07, and 6:40 p.m. App-based car services are available to take families from the station to camp.

On the evening of the Orientation, families are invited to visit campus and walk the grounds to navigate your child’s summer class schedule. Many Usdan teachers will be on site to introduce themselves to families. Be sure to bring your child’s schedule (except for Discovery students, who will not receive a schedule). Musicians may bring their instruments to check them in at the Instrument Check Building.

Families are welcome to bring a picnic dinner to enjoy at any of the Usdan picnic areas. Bring your own food, but we have the tables and benches. Please refrain from bringing alcohol.


Usdan will be closed on Thursday, July 4, in celebration of Independence Day. Camp will operate on a normal schedule for the rest of that week.

7-week: July 1 – August 16*
4-week: July 1 – July 26*
3-week: July 29 – August 16*

*Weekdays only


Before the start of summer, your family will receive a printed calendar of Festival performances and Theater shows. You will also be able to find a more detailed calendar, including the showcases of your children’s work on our website and our app. Each week, we will email you a reminder of what’s coming in the week ahead in our weekly newsletter. Please make note of the following important dates.

Thursday, June 27: Family Orientation; see above for more information.
Monday, July 1: Opening Day (4 & 7-week sessions)
Evening of Thursday, July 25: Usdan Summer Gala – The Sassafras Bash
Friday, July 26: Last day for 4-week Session
Monday, July 29: Opening Day (3-week Session)
Friday, August 16: Last day for 3 and 7-week session (Closing Day Ceremony)


Throughout the course of the summer, there will be select days that are non-traditional for some or all of the campers. These may include field trips, performance days, visual art open studios days, end-of-camp rituals including a parade or carnival, opportunities for students to attend performances in other areas of the camp, and mass artistic experiences that involve the entire camp. We plan these events for educational and social purposes and we believe in the value of seeing, supporting, and celebrating each other’s work and our time as a community.

You will be notified of any special events or activities in our weekly email and through our website.



185 Colonial Springs Road |Wheatley Heights, New York 11798

In case of weather or other emergencies, visit usdan.org for real-time updates and information.



If you need to change your child’s program you may do so according to this schedule (based on availability):

7-week classes: By Friday, July 5 @ 1:15 p.m.
4-week classes: By Wednesday, July 3 @ 1:15 p.m.
3-week classes: By Tuesday, July 30 @ 1:15 p.m.

Pre-season schedule change requests must be submitted by Thursday, June 27th (Orientation evening) at 7:30 p.m. to be considered for the first day of the 4 or 7-week session. Schedule changes submitted between June 28 and June 30 will be considered for the second day of the 4 or 7-week session.

In-season schedule change requests must be submitted by 1:15 p.m. in order to be made for the next camp day. Due to the high number of requests we receive, if you submit a request after 1:15 p.m., we cannot honor your request for the following camp day. Starting Monday, June 24th, we are not able to take schedule changes over the phone or via email.

Schedule change requests can be submitted one of the following ways:

1- Submit a request through our website at usdan.org/schedulechange

2- Have your child come to the Administration Building or Welcome Tent and submit a request with one of our Parent Support Staff.

Once your request has been submitted, you will receive an email confirming our receipt. Changes are made based on class availability and are not guaranteed. You will receive a second email by 10 p.m. the day before the schedule change will go into effect with the result of your request and a new program card if the change was approved.


Instagram: @usdanarts | #usdan
Facebook: facebook.com/usdanarts
Twitter: twitter.com/usdanarts


If you need to make a payment, please visit usdan.org/payment to pay by credit card or bank account. You may also mail us a check to our camp address:

185 Colonial Springs Road, Wheatley Heights, NY 11798
Attn: Accounts Receivable

Should you have any questions about your invoice, please email our finance office at invoices@usdan.org.


If you need to speak with the nurses, you may call 631-643-7900 and ask for the Health Office, or email healthoffice@usdan.org.

New York State law requires us to have your child’s health form on file before allowing them to board a Usdan bus or attend a class. This form should be signed by a doctor and reflect a physical that occurred after June 1, 2018.


After you receive your child’s program information, you will receive your child’s transportation information via email under a separate cover. Please add bus@usdan.org to your contacts so that it does not go to your junk folder and you will be sure to receive that information in a timely manner. In this email, you will find important information such as your child’s bus company contact information, bus counselor contact information, bus number, and approximate pick-up times. Should you have questions in-season regarding your child’s transportation, you should contact the bus company or the bus counselor. You may also contact 631-643-7900 with other questions. For non-urgent transportation matters, you may email bus@usdan.org.

Bus Companies (please refer to your individual letter for which company services your child’s route):

Huntington Coach 631-261-9819
Independent Coach 516-239-1100
Suffolk Transportation 631-665-3245
Pioneer Transportation 718-931-5450


If your child experiences social or emotional difficulties while at camp, contact the Dean’s Office at 631-643-7900, or email dean@usdan.org.


If your child is in the Partners in the Arts (P.I.A.) program for 2nd and 3rd graders and you have questions regarding your child’s Counselor or the P.I.A. program, please contact Kimaada Le Gendre or Lauren Kinane at 631-643-7900, or email institute@usdan.org.

If your child is a high school aged member of the Usdan Leadership Institute for the Arts, and you have questions about the Institute, you may also contact Kimaada Le Gendre at 631-643-7900, or email institute@usdan.org.


Usdan provides more than $1.5 million in scholarship to ensure that cost is not a barrier for attending camp. These scholarships are made possible through philanthropic contributions. To support need-based scholarships, please visit our donation page.

The annual Usdan Summer Gala, the largest fundraising event of the season, takes place on July 25th. This year’s Gala, The Sassafras Bash, features performances, cocktails, and dinner amidst Usdan’s beautiful, natural campus. For more information, visit our Gala page.

For more information on our fundraising and events, please contact Kathleen Drohan at 631-643-7900 or email kdrohan@usdan.org.


Usdan relies on volunteers to help ensure a positive and productive summer for all campers. Volunteers help in our Welcome Center, at performances, in the Administration office, and throughout camp. To volunteer, please contact Kathleen Drohan at 631-643-7900 or email kdrohan@usdan.org.


Usdan is more than a place—it’s a tight-knit community of people who work and thrive together. The camp’s staff and faculty are a crucial part of the Usdan experience.

Photo of Lauren Brandt Schloss, Executive director.

Lauren Brandt Schloss, Executive Director

Oscar Amaya, Facilities Manager
Anthony Amico, Director of Facilities
Kerry Barnhart, Senior Director of Student Affairs
Al Chiavaro, Facilities Maintenance Technician
Kathleen Drohan, Director of External Affairs
Motaz Elzalata, Senior Accountant
Julio Garcia, Senior Groundskeeper
Jillian Greenberg, Director of Education
Marcos Flores, Junior Groundskeeper
Stacey Jamieson, Admissions Counselor
Michael Kitakis, Nurse Assistant
Courtney Kassinger, Transportation Manager
Nicole Martinez, Marketing and PR Associate
Sima Matthes, Program Assistant
Sari Sharaby, Senior Director of Finance and Operations
Lindsay Smilow, Major Gifts Officer
Olivia Wise, Enrollment and Admissions Coordinator


Kyra Leeds
Matt Mantione
Brittney Rifkind
Zachary Rifkind


Jaden Nogee


Estefany Gutierrez


Adam Cordero
David Schecher


Jodie Embelton | Chair, Art Department
Jerelyn Hanrahan| Chair, Art Department
Grainne Josephat | Aquatics Director
Diana Crum | Chair, Dance Department
Tymberly Canale | Assistant to Chair, Dance Department
Megan Powers | Chair, Discovery Program
Sadie Pincus  | Assistant to Chair/Chair, Discovery Program
Mark Bligh | Chair, Music Department
Cindy Giron| Coordinator, Music Department
Marilyn Lehman | Coordinator, Music Department: Piano and Chorus
Jim Incorvaia | Chair, Theater Department
Jillian Greenberg and Javan Howard | Supporting Recreation, Chess, Nature, and Writing
Kimaada Le Gendre| Chair, Student Leadership and Supervision


Knee scrapes and bug bites are part of the summer camp experience. To keep our students healthy, Usdan maintains an on-site Health Office to provide care and dispense medication. Families should have already provided a Health Record and Physical Examination form by May 31. If you have not, please send it as soon as possible to healthoffice@usdan.org.

Usdan’s Health Office requires both a doctor’s orders and parent permission for all medications. Students may self-medicate with emergency medication only if specified by a doctor’s orders. Medication and doctor’s orders should be brought to the Health Office on Orientation Day. Forms can be found at usdan.org/parentportal.

Sally Cappy boasts 40 years experience as a nurse, including more than 20 years as a school nurse in Huntington and South Huntington school districts. This is her 17th summer at Usdan.

Liz Scanello began her career as a clinical nurse in 1979 until becoming a school nurse in 1992. 2019 marks her 14th summer at Usdan.


The Dean’s Office helps students become comfortable at Usdan. The Deans can offer advice or mentorship to students struggling with behavior, social skills, or their classes (if you have specific questions regarding the content and curriculum of your child’s class, contact the department chair). The Dean’s Office staff are here to support all students and ensure they have a special summer experience at Usdan.

David Schecher has served as Usdan’s Dean of Students for over 30 years and Director of Senior Division Bands for over 10 years. He loves experiencing Usdan each summer and working with both students and adults.

Photo of James Keenan, Associate Dean of Students

James Keenan, Associate Dean of Students


Cinnamon Green
Michele Keenan
Sarrit Haik
Deborah Royal


Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts cares about children and has a responsibility to provide a safe environment for all of our young people. We recognize that providing that safe, caring environment is everyone’s job, not only the job of our teachers. Our entire staff – assistant teachers, accompanists, swim and recreation staff members, maintenance staff and the administrative staff – all have a responsibility to be informed about and take an active role in the prevention of child abuse. Every staff person has completed a Mandated Reporter Training course which meets the New York State Education Department mandatory requirements for Training in Child Abuse Identification and Reporting.

If you have any questions or feel that a Usdan camper is being abused, or is in danger of being abused, please contact any member of the Dean’s Office staff, Nurse Sally Cappy or Nurse Liz Scannello.


The opening day of camp is thrilling, maybe a little nerve-wracking, and oh, so much fun. Here’s what to expect: Before camp, you will receive transportation information with all of your child’s bus info. The bus will pick up your child and head to Usdan. When buses arrive at camp, they are greeted by a member of the Dean’s office, who will provide instructions. Your child’s bus number will be on their program, or if your child is in the Discovery or Partners in the Arts program, please write their bus number on their nametag to assist the Counselors in getting them to the bus.

Your child will enjoy morning classes, the Opening Day Ceremony and Faculty Performance, lunch, and afternoon classes. At the end of the day, everyone receives an ice cream or dietarily appropriate snack on their way to the bus.


Discovery students must wear their nametag every day of the season. This nametag alerts our staff that a child is a Discovery camper and helps them anticipate their needs and expectations.

Once they have arrived at Usdan, Discovery campers will meet Discovery Counselors who will escort them to the Amphitheater. Their Counselor will be with them every step of the way to help with anything they need. Be sure to write your child’s bus number on their name tag.


Partners in the Arts must wear their nametag every day of the season. This nametag alerts our staff that a child is in the Partners program and helps them anticipate a child’s needs and expectations.

Partners will head to the Amphitheater upon arrival to meet their Counselors. Counselors will walk with their group to their first class. At the end of every period throughout the day, a Counselor will be there to help students get from one class to the next, including the Opening Day Ceremony and Faculty Performance, and lunch. At the conclusion of their last class, a Counselor will be there to take them to get an ice cream snack and then to the bus field for their ride home.


Make sure your child has their program card (digitally or printed) when they leave home for the first day of camp. If they need help, Usdan staff members wearing a bright blue t-shirt or students wearing an equally bright yellow t-shirt will be able to help them. There will a tent marked “New Student Information” where new students can find help or a friendly face before they head off to class. New Juniors will be directed to the Amphitheater (please see below).


The Usdan campus is easy to navigate, and the staff is friendly, but sometimes we still need an insider to help us around at the beginning.

New students will be able to pick up a “New Student” button at Family Orientation. If your family is unable to attend the Orientation, students can pick one up at the Amphitheater, if they are a Junior, or the Welcome Tent, if they are a Senior, on the first day. New campers are encouraged to keep an eye out for returning students wearing an “Ambassador” pin.

Juniors (4th-6th grade) will be directed to the McKinley Amphitheater on the first day of their session. There, they will find their teachers and meet other new students. They should look for a sign with their first-period department (ie: Tap Dance look for Dance Department, Absolute Beginner Woodwinds look for Music Department).  If your child is unsure of their department, teachers will be there to help. Students should bring their schedule to camp as it will have all their classes. Once their group has gathered, they will be led by a teacher to their first-period class. 

Seniors (6th-12th grade) will head directly to their Majors on the first day of their session.  There will be staff and faculty in bright blue shirts along the paths to help them find their way. Students should not hesitate to ask for help!


Following their daily ice cream treat, students in the After Care program will take a quick stroll to the Amphitheater to meet After Care staff. Partners and Discovery students will be brought to the Amphitheater by Usdan staff. After Care programs may vary daily and can include board games, recreational art time, journaling, swimming, and more. We discourage the use of devices in After Care and will ask your child to put it away if they are on it for an extended period of time. Children in the After Care program do not receive bus service home. They must be picked up by a parent or authorized person at Usdan’s campus before 6:00 p.m.

If you have signed up for After Care, you will receive a separate email with more detailed information about the program. Please email aftercare@usdan.org with any questions.


  • Your Child’s Nametag (for Discovery campers, Partners in the Arts and members of the Leadership Institute)
  • Reusable Water Bottle
  • Lunch
  • Swimsuit and Towel (if your child is taking Swimming or has After Care)
  • Smock (if needed)
  • Instrument (if your child is taking instrumental music classes)
  • Dance Attire (see below for details)
  • Camera (if your child is taking Photography)
  • Sneakers or Walking Shoes (no Flip-Flops or Sandals)
  • Snack (for Discovery and Aftercare)
  • Bug Spray (be sure you have completed the insect repellent release form)
  • Sunblock
  • Hat
  • Umbrella, Poncho, or Raincoat
  • Extra socks or other clothing in case of wet weather
  • Anything else which would make your child’s day more comfortable


Usdan encourages students to choose for themselves whichever specific class attire they feel most comfortably expresses their identity.

Music: For concerts, musicians are required to have a white shirt or blouse, black pants or long black skirt, and black dress shoes.

Art: A smock or old shirt to protect clothes.

Yoga: Comfortable clothing that is easy to move in, preferably without buttons and zippers. Bring a yoga mat marked with your child’s name. Students can leave mats for the entirety of the session.

Dance Classes:

All: Long hair should be pulled back for all classes. Shorts should be either a modest length and/or tight-fitting. Your child should be able to comfortably do a squat and sit in a straddle-leg position.

Ballet: Leotard (any style) and tights or white shirt and black leggings or athletic pants. Feet: ballet shoes (no color preference for all).

Broadway Jazz: Comfortable non-restrictive clothing i.e, shorts (no jeans), leggings, dance pants, yoga pants, sweatpants, t-shirt, tank top, leotard, tights. Feet: Juniors: jazz shoes; Seniors: character shoes found at Capezio or Bloch.

Contemporary: Comfortable non-restrictive clothing i.e, shorts (no jeans), leggings, dance pants, yoga pants, sweatpants, t-shirt, tank top, leotard. Feet: Barefeet.

Creative Movement: Comfortable non-restrictive clothing i.e, shorts (no jeans), leggings, dance pants, yoga pants, sweatpants, t-shirt, tank top, leotard. Feet: Barefeet.

Dance Adventure: Comfortable non-restrictive clothing i.e, shorts (no jeans), leggings, dance pants, yoga pants, sweatpants, t-shirt, tank top. Feet: Barefeet.

Dance Ensemble Morning Ballet Class: Leotard (any style), tights. Feet: ballet shoes (no color preference for all).

Dance Ensemble Repertory: Comfortable non-restrictive clothing i.e, shorts (no jeans), leggings, dance pants, yoga pants, sweat pants, t-shirt, tank top, leotard. Feet: Barefeet.

Hip Hop: Comfortable non-restrictive clothing i.e, shorts (no jeans), leggings, dance pants, yoga pants, sweatpants, t-shirt, tank top, leotard. Feet: Sneakers.

Modern: Comfortable non-restrictive clothing i.e, shorts (no jeans), leggings, dance pants, yoga pants, sweatpants, t-shirt, tank top, leotard. Feet: Barefeet.

Tap: Comfortable non-restrictive clothing i.e, shorts (no jeans), leggings, dance pants, yoga pants, sweatpants, t-shirt, tank top. Feet: tap shoes. Any brand or type is ok. Capezio and Bloch are affordable options. Students may wear socks or no socks depending on comfort.

West African Fusion: Comfortable non-restrictive clothing i.e, shorts (no jeans), leggings, dance pants, yoga pants, sweatpants, t-shirt, tank top. Feet: Barefeet.

Choreographic Institute: comfortable non-restrictive clothing i.e. modest and/or tight shorts, leggings, dance pants, yoga pants, sweatpants, T-shirt, tank top, leotard, tights. Feet: to be determined by the instructor on the first day.


For the convenience of musicians, Usdan provides 24-hour instrument storage at Instrument Check. It is conveniently located on the way to the Music Department. All checked instruments must be in protective cases and marked with the owner’s name.

Musicians can pick up a special sticker for their instrument case at the Instrument Check Building on Orientation night or on the opening days of each camp session.


Students are required to bring their own lunch. There is no refrigeration and students are required to carry their lunch in their bag. If a student forgets or loses their lunch, Usdan Administration can provide a backup lunch.


As there is nowhere on campus to purchase beverages or food, students are advised to bring their own reusable water bottle. Water filling stations are located throughout the camp for student use. Students can purchase additional water bottles at the Usdan Store in the Welcome Center and online at usdan.org/store. Compostable cups are also available.


Each afternoon, before boarding the buses, students are served an ice cream snack at no extra charge. If students need lactose- or gluten-free frozen treats instead of ice cream, they’re kept in the Health Office. If your child is in the Discovery program or is attending the After Care program, please provide an additional snack.


Forbidden items for campers and visitors:

  • Cigarettes
  • E-cigarettes
  • Matches
  • Lighters
  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Weapons of any kind

No smoking is permitted at Usdan. Smoking on the grounds could result in immediate dismissal.

Items we suggest you leave at home:

  • Skateboards
  • Rollerblades
  • Frisbees
  • Water pistols
  • Wide-tipped markers
  • Portable radios
  • Shaving cream

Students are also advised not to bring:

  • Cell phones
  • Tablets
  • iPods
  • Expensive watches
  • Cameras
  • Jewelry
  • Money beyond that needed for emergencies

The safekeeping of these items cannot be guaranteed, especially during swim periods.


We recommend that all personal items be marked with each child’s name. All found items are held at the Lost and Found area near the bus field, with the exception of valuables, such as glasses, wallets, mobile phones, jewelry, etc., which are brought to the Administration Building for safekeeping.


Please do not supply your child’s class with food or treats for birthday or end-of-season parties, whether on campus or your child’s bus. This will protect the health and safety of students with food allergies.


Usdan believes that mobile devices such as phones and tablets can be incredible tools for creativity. But Usdan is also a place to disconnect from the frenzy of technology for a summer of discovery amidst the camp’s natural beauty. Students are permitted to use mobile devices on the bus and during lunch. Limited phone use is permitted during passing periods only when the student has reached their next class location, or to check their digital schedule. Students are not allowed to use mobile devices during class unless authorized by teachers, while walking on campus, in the Amphitheater during a performance, or during After Care.


Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts maintains a pristine, natural campus for the enjoyment of all students, and exploring the campus is an integral part of the Usdan experience. Studies show that hiking and spending time outdoors can boost creativity, improve focus, and encourage positive thinking.

Of course, being immersed in nature brings out some health and safety risks for children, including mosquitoes, ticks, and poison ivy.


Usdan encourages all students to use organic herbal insect repellent to prevent mosquito and other insect bites. Usdan takes care to remove standing rainwater where mosquito larvae may linger, but mosquito bites are a natural consequence of spending time in wooded areas. In order for your child to carry insect repellent, you must complete the repellent release form if you have not already done so.


Students are told to perform regular tick checks. Families are encouraged to thoroughly check their children for ticks after each day and carefully remove any ticks present (the recommended method is simply using a piece of tape or sticky lint roller to pull a loose tick off). If a child is bitten, be sure to monitor the bite site for irritation.

Here are some tips to safely remove an attached tick, should you find one:

  • Tweezers are the best tool to use.
  • Place tweezers as close to the skin as possible. Try to grab the tick’s head or just above it.
  • Pull upward with a slow and steady motion. Try to avoid breaking the tick, but don’t be alarmed if the head breaks off and remains in the skin. Disease transmission is not possible without the entire body.
  • Disinfect the bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
  • Contact your child’s healthcare provider.

To learn more about tick prevention, visit www.cdc.gov.


Poison ivy is a common vine found throughout the northeastern United States and beyond. Contact with the plant can cause an allergic reaction that triggers skin irritation and blisters. Nature students are taught to recognize poison ivy’s trademark three-leaf pattern and not to touch any part of the vine. Students enrolled in programs that regularly venture into wooded areas are supplied with pre-contact solutions that help prevent an allergic reaction.

Usdan removes poison ivy near our pathways.


As part of Usdan’s maintenance of a beautiful natural setting for students, the camp emphasizes a commitment to sustainable living. Please be sure to send your student with a reusable water bottle daily; fresh drinking water is also on-site for student consumption. Recycling areas are also available for students to discard recyclable material.


In case of inclement weather, Usdan will provide the latest camp announcements online at usdan.org. Parents or Guardians will also receive updates to be alerted of severe weather issues or other imperative information.


Every visit can start at the Usdan Welcome Center and Gallery. Located between the Amphitheater and Administration building, the Welcome Center houses Visitor Information, the Usdan Store, and our Art Gallery which will feature student and faculty art. Merchandise is also available online at usdan.org/store.


Even the home of summer fun has a few rules.

Since our very first summer, Usdan staff and campers have embraced the belief that we should treat others with respect, empathy, kindness, compassion, and understanding at all times. Even when it’s hard to do. Especially, when it’s hard to do.

Together, we can create classroom environments that welcome every student, and Festival Performance audiences which celebrate those on stage. Like the staff and campers before us, using this simple philosophy and common sense we can find energy and inspiration in art and a roadmap to be good citizens at Usdan and in life.


Conduct on the Bus: For your safety, standing in the aisles of the bus is not permitted and all students must wear a seatbelt. If you do not abide by these rules, intended for your wellbeing and that of other students, you may be dismissed from Usdan.

Attendance: Regular attendance in class and at performances is expected of all students. If you have missed a class, stop at the office and give your reason to the Attendance Office. Unexplained absences will be reported to parents, and repeated absences from class may result in expulsion from the camp without a refund of tuition. You may be excused to accompany your family on a vacation, but no refund of fees is made for absences.

Leaving the Grounds: You are not permitted to leave the grounds. If you do so, you may not be allowed to continue at Usdan.


When attending or participating in a Festival Performance at the Amphitheater, the goal is to create an atmosphere of focus, engagement, appreciation, and respect. Another goal is for students to understand and be comfortable in various performance settings. Like all great art, this takes practice and perseverance.

A Usdan staff member will signal when each performance has concluded by lowering the lights. Students should not leave or prepare to leave the Amphitheater before this time. Please wait until the stage lights go off before putting on your backpack or standing up during a performance.

Talking or other forms of distraction, including eating food, during a performance is impolite to the performers and those around you.

Different types of performances require different forms of response:

  • Clapping along is good when encouraged by the performer.
  • Clapping after an improvised solo in a jazz concert is expected.
  • Clapping is reserved only for the end of the entire piece in a classical music concert.
  • Calling out the names of performers, or making distracting noises, are not appropriate. These noises distract performers and impair their ability to engage with an audience fully.
  • Clapping for stage crew is not appropriate.
  • Use of electronic devices, as well as other “quiet” activities, such as reading or drawing, are not appropriate.


Students thrive when they feel safe. Creating a respectful environment that fosters that safety is one of our most important goals. In the 10 points that follow, you will find guidelines that will help ensure that discussions are respectful and inclusive. A “discussion” could be a number of things including a class discussion, a conversation with a friend, a debate with another artist, a large question and answer session within your department, or any of life’s countless groupings, and the exchange of ideas that are the result.

  • One mic, one voice: Only one person should speak at a time.
  • Step up, step back: Participants should be aware of how much they are speaking. If they feel they are speaking a lot, they should let others speak, and if they find themselves not talking, they should try to contribute some comments, ideas or suggestions.
  • Use “I” statements: Everyone should speak from his/her/hir/their own experiences.
  • Avoid making generalizations: Don’t make blanket statements about any groups of people. If you’re not sure that something you want to say is factually correct, phrase it as a question.
  • No assumptions — except for best intentions: People should not assume other people’s experiences or anything else. The only assumption people should make is that when other participants speak, they are speaking with the best intentions and do not mean to offend anyone.
  • Correct gently, but do correct: If someone says something that is incorrect or offensive, politely call them on that. Letting comments slip by only makes the space less safe and increases the difficulty of building successful partnerships.
  • Respect confidentiality: Assume that stories and comments shared in meetings should remain private. If you would like to share someone’s story or comment, please ask them first.
  • Embrace diversity: Diverse groups have lots to offer, including different tastes. When members share their likes and dislikes, respect their personal opinions and preferences.
  • Lean into discomfort: Many topics and the discussions that result can sometimes be challenging. Be willing to experience some discomfort in discussions, and learn from it.
  • Uphold commitments: The key to safe and successful communities (classes, peer groups, friendships, etc.) is honoring your commitments to that community. If you cannot go through with a commitment, make sure to let people know and find someone to take your place.


Usdan students and visitors always expected to use respect toward each other – both at camp and online. Please be a good digital citizen by not participating in, or tolerating, cyberbullying via any social media platform. Saying hurtful or malicious things about others, no matter the form is never tolerated by Usdan. If you witness or are the victim of cyberbullying, please report it to the Dean’s office immediately.


Every day at Usdan is visiting day. Families are invited to visit camp on any weekday during the season with your Family Access Pass and proper ID. Access passes will be available for pickup at Family Orientation on June 27, or we will place them in the mail. Each family receives two passes, although you may request more if necessary. Be sure to keep your pass in your car window, or show it upon arrival in a taxi, when visiting Usdan. Those without a pass must call the day before their visit to be placed on a security list. No visitors will be admitted without identification.

Family members are always encouraged to visit for the daily Festival Performance (admission is included in your child’s tuition). Before the start of summer, you will receive a printed and more detailed calendar of performances and events. Visitors are invited to join us for a backstage lunch following each Festival Performance. To attend the lunch, please RSVP at least 24 hours in advance by emailing rsvp@usdan.org. Visitors are not permitted to ride on any Usdan bus, bring pets onto campus (service and therapy dogs are welcome, but due to health department regulations, we require a copy of their vaccination record on file with the health office), or use any of the camp’s recreational facilities.


When visiting camp, we ask that you respect the guidelines outlined below. Anyone who does not abide by these guidelines will be removed from camp and may lose visiting privileges.

  • All visitors must check in at the security booth and, if they don’t already have one, receive a Visitor Pass. This pass must be worn at all times on campus. If you do not have your pass when you arrive on campus, please visit the Administration Building to receive a new pass.  Anyone on campus without a pass will be asked to leave immediately.
  • If you need help or directions on campus, please visit the Welcome Center or ask an Assistant Safety Monitor stationed throughout the grounds. Please do not ask students for information.
  • Photographing students in the pool area and restrooms is strictly prohibited. You may photograph your own child in other areas of camp, but please exercise discretion when photographing other children. Please do not post photos of children other than your own on social media without permission from the child’s family.
  • Please behave appropriately and respectfully around students, faculty, and other guests. Usdan reserves the right to remove or bar guests from campus at any time.
  • Our campus is a precious commodity and we ask that you help us ensure it remains so by disposing of garbage in the bins placed throughout the grounds. Please also consider sustainable and environmentally friendly materials and recycle whenever possible.
  • We are thrilled for you to join us to enjoy the arts and nature in this inspiring and unique environment.


Parents or guardians occasionally need to pick up students during the day or after camp has ended. Parents, guardians, and anyone else authorized must provide photo identification when picking up campers. If an adult who has not been previously authorized on the enrollment form picks up a camper, we must have written permission from the parent/guardian. An email to questions@usdan.org is sufficient. We will not release a child to anyone without express permission from the parent/guardian.

You must sign out your child at the Administration Building and meet them there at the end of the day. If you are picking up your child at the end of the day, please be here no later than 3:05 p.m., as after that cars will not be permitted to enter the grounds until the buses have all departed, around 3:30 p.m.


If a parent or guardian wants their child to go home with another Usdan student, both children must be picked up at the Administration Building. Written permission must be provided by parents of both students. Please provide 24-hour advance notice. Students may not ride on any bus other than the one assigned to them by Usdan.



Via Long Island Expressway
Queens Midtown Tunnel to the Long Island Expressway to Exit 49S or Throgs Neck Bridge to Clearview Expressway to Long Island Express- way to Exit 49S. Continue on the service road, parallel to the Expressway, for 3 lights to Pinelawn Road. Turn Right onto Pinelawn for 6 lights (there is a left hand turning lane at the 6th light). Turn left onto Colonial Springs Road. The entrance is 1 mile on your left.

Via Southern State Parkway
Belt Parkway to Southern State Parkway, Exit 35 (Wellwood Avenue). Follow Wellwood Avenue, north, past the Long Island National Cemetery, just past Newsday. Turn right after Newsday onto Colonial Springs Road. The entrance is 1 mile on your left.


Via Long Island Expressway
To Exit 49N. At the traffic light on the exit ramp turn left onto Pinelawn Road. Cross over the Expressway heading south on Pinelawn Road. Continue on Pinelawn for 7 lights (there is a left hand turning lane at the 7th light). Turn left onto Colonial Springs Road. The entrance is 1 mile on your left.

Via Southern State Parkway
To Exit 35 (Wellwood Avenue). Follow Wellwood Avenue, north, past the Long Island National Cemetery, just past Newsday. Turn right after Newsday onto Colonial Springs Road. The entrance is 1 mile on your left.


The nearest station is Wyandanch on the Main Line, Ronkonkoma Branch. There are taxis and app-based car services at the station. Long Island Railroad information can be found at www.mta.info.


Rideshares (Uber, Lyft, etc) are available in the area.
Wyandanch LIRR: Lindy’s Taxi Service – 631-586-5666